Warwick Skills Portfolio
Final Blog Entry
Tutor: Han-Na Cha
Learning is a complex process that follows an epistemological dynamic perspective that does not follow a presupposed positivist agenda about the best recipe for optimum learning. It takes the individual as a unique case that is in direct contact with constantly changeable factors such as the environment including the significant others’ support as well as colleagues and genetic considerations. The power of the Warwick skills portfolio programme is that it follows a systematic approach to learning that takes all these factors into considerations, builds bridges between them, and develops new ones into one integrated system. This paper proffers a brief discussion of these factors with a short reflection of their benefit on the personal level.
1- Within the learning process, each individual interacts with the surrounding environment in a certain way that could benefit or damage the learning process. Therefore, if each individual is made aware of their own preferred learning styles, this might help them hone the previously owned one as a result of inherent talent or nurtured ability while growing up. For example, because I have been listening to songs in different languages since I was a kid, I gained the ability to imitate different voices and understand fully while engaged in a discussion without knowing other learning styles. Hence, I learned not only to develop my listening skills but also to develop new ones manifested in reading flow charts and diagrams. This skill aides individuals improving coordinating the work between the two semi-hemispheres of the brain and maintains salubrious functioning of the brain neurons.
2- Many learners voice their complaints of having low levels of attention, especially cases of inordinate procrastination in which they do trivia matters at the expense of tasks that rank high on the scale of importance. Therefore, it is of vital importance to better know oneself in order to be able to apply a uniform self-discipline that makes maximum use of one’s capabilities and exploits our potentials to the fullest. For example, s tickable timetable that allowed me to prioritise my most persistent tasks at the top of my list without forgetting to perform the less-persistent ones which give a sense of achievement, remove throe burden off the mind-to-do list and boost self-confidence which takes me to my next point.
3- Varying the work routine has double effect on the individual’s motivation because it moves the person mindset from performing highly mental enjoyable tasks to monotonous tedious ones or vice versa. This alternating nature of different tasks develops different abilities at the same time and qualifies multi-disciplinary learners who are able to perform more than one tasks at a time while keeping a balance of averting missing out important issues as mentioned in the previous step. For example, I would move from reading, analyzing, and researching for a long time into less mentally-demanding tasks such as responding to e-mails or organising notes or more enjoyable tasks like practicing my Spanish. Another example could be implied in following a reward system wherein have self-initiated incentive that drives them to work efficiently in order to fulfill other needs such as catching up with friends or doing some spot.
4- One of the most important stages of learning is learning to have a reflective mood on different subject matters. Many think that reflection is restricted to looking back at what a person had achieved with an evaluative or emotional perspective. However, reflection means keeping a researcher log in which he or she can shed a light on their different stages of learning and raises their awareness of the various levels of their development they have been through. Subsequently, this procedure will make them realise and better comprehend how they have changed and evolved as individuals and professionals which will lead to the focal goal of reflection. This is embodied in projecting these achievements on future performances and build on previous ones rather than ignoring them.
5- In addition to learning, organinsing, and reflecting, an added bonus comes self-evident with changing attitudes and orientation. Instead of seeking extrinsic rewards such as grades or better job opportunities, learners start to develop a learning orientation that is crystallised through reaching a mindset that engrosses learners in profound enjoyment and appetite for learning that superseded all external and ephemeral rewards when compared with the intrinsic benefits. In other words, learners will learn for the mere goal of learning and enjoyment. Thus, they will have elevated levels of confidence, conscientiousness, and appreciations of learning and developing themselves on both the personal and the professional levels. As a result, collateral extrinsic rewards will emerge as an unexpected windfall resulting from this learning orientation. For example, although I started attending different workshops within Warwick Portfolio Awards for the certificate, I developed writing presentation, speech, organinsing, typing and critical thinking skills among many others. These skills are cross-curricular that applies to different domains of learning and for the work life too which takes me to the next point.
6- Academic life could be hugely different from real life jobs. Many fresh graduates express deep concern over embarking on this life as opposed to the one they have been used to for a substantially long time. As any new experience in life, being in a professional context demands new interpersonal and professional skills which are initiated by the individual himself or herself and interact with the surrounding milieu. However, before that these individuals must prove they possess the potentials needed by their employees to pass the first obstacle during job interviews. Therefore, knowing one’s potentials and underscoring them better acquaint the employees with these and most importantly allow the individual to choose the appropriate job to make efficient use of these skills. For example, by discovering my strengths and weaknesses, I can perform better self-promotion now and explain it to my prospect job employers in order to facilitate their choice of the most appropriate job for me. My friend and I were considered as early innovators because we bring enthusiasm and creativity to the working environment in addition to being multi-disciplinary and fast learners. However, enthusiasm by itself is not sufficient without economic study, plausibility and long term planning and application.
7- The last personal skill has major influence over the way learners behave and react in a correspondent way in different situations. This last skill makes use of the influence of body language and face gestures on outcomes in different settings. For example, entering a room with a big smile, standing in a fully-relaxed posture facing your audience, and sitting with your hands on display on that table. Although all of the aforementioned might seem self-evident and simple to apply, but their effects can have a major influence on our relationships and our future evaluation by others. For instance, keeping eye contact and using follow-up phrases like ‘’uhm-yeah-aha’’ not only ensures that you have better communication with the other person but they also show that you are an attentive nimble-minded person who can alienate differences with others from different opinions.
To summarise, the Warwick skills Portfolio workshops has changed my perspective on learning in various ways. Now, I adopt a learning orientation, know my weaknesses and strengths, capitalise on my fortes and develop new skills, make use of body language, appreciate team work, organise my schedule, and believe in the power of theories and reflection to advance my career and my personal development. In addition, I can use these new acquired skills and transfer it to my colleagues and students back home.